May 28, 2015 11:34 AM

Mike Coppola/Getty

These days, Brandy is busy playing Roxie Hart on Broadway in the revival of Chicago, but months before treading the boards, the singer and actress worked hard to get in the best shape of her life.

Before, “I didn’t exercise or take care of myself and my body the way I needed to,” Brandy, 36, tells PEOPLE. “I just woke up one day and decided to live my best life, so what you see is the new me!”

Brandy complements a clean diet with regular workouts. “Some days are tough, but with the right focus and dedication I refuse to hit my snooze button,” she says. She combines boxing or sparring with her trainer with cardio and weight training for up to an hour and a half a day. “I know good things are happening because of this healthy release of energy with my mind, body and soul!”

Check out what she eats in a day — and pick up the new issue of PEOPLE (on newsstands Friday) to read more about her diet.

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Egg white omelet with spinach, tomatoes and onion
32 oz. water with lemon, cucumbers, apples and blackberries

4 oz. mahi mahi
Small spinach salad with roma tomatoes, cucumbers and olives
16 oz. water with lemon

Grilled salmon
1 cup of steamed vegetables with her favorite kale salad from Houston’s restaurant (fine shredded baby kale, herbs and dry-roasted, unsalted cashews, topped with shavings of Parmesan cheese and peanut vinaigrette)

Kind Bar (Cranberry and Almond + Antioxidants)

Total Calories 

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“Brandy is laying the best foundation for the day by getting high-fiber carbs and protein from oats and berries, and she has perfect portions for lunch,” says dietitian Keri Glassman of But Glassman adds, “At dinner she could add a little healthy fat like avocado or olive oil. The fat is necessary for skin health, hormones and for simply staying satisfied!” For a little more variety she also suggests that Brandy add chunks of fruit, like strawberries or raspberries, to her water. But overall, says Glassman, Brandy is an excellent eater. “She consumes a lots of veggies, lean protein, whole grains and is consistent throughout day. She is on it!”

NOTE: It is recommended that women should eat at least 1,200 calories per day, and men should eat at least 1,800 calories per day.

—Antoinette Y. Coulton @diamondtennis

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